JAPAN: Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine


Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine: The mountain with ten thousand gates





One of the most visit place in Kyoto is the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine. So of course it is included in our must-visit place when we head to Kyoto.


Most tourists visit this shrine to explore the mountain trails, however, we did not intend to go to the trails since we have a little time. But I must say that the buildings/construction is worth visiting. The details are in the shrine is so unique.


The walk to the main entrance is about ten minutes on foot, we were able to enjoy the many food stalls leading toward the shrine.






Some little facts about the Shrine:


Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社, Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine), is built at the base of Inari Mountain by the Hata family in the seventh century. It is said to be the most famous of several thousands shrines dedicated to Inari, the Shinto God of rice. In Japan, foxes are thought to be Inari’s messengers, and as a result, there are many fox statues scattered across the shrine grounds.





Over the centuries, it established itself as the primary shrine for over 30,000 Inari shrines all over Japan. Now, it is the most visited shrine—during the new years more than 3 million people travel from all over to pay their respect.





More than 10,000 red torii gates straddles the stone pathway leading up to Inari Mountain. Although in pictures, you are lead to believe the torri gates are red, it is actually vermilion, the color said to expel evil spirits and diseases. And every single one of those gates has been donated by an individual, or an organization from around the world. Their names and the date in which it was purchased are inscribed on the gates in Japanese characters. Thinking of making a gate purchase? It could cost you anywhere from $4000 USD for a small one, and up to $10,000 USD for a large one. After much deliberation (looking at my coin purse), we decided it was impossible at that very moment.







How to Get to Fushimi Inari Shrine


It is easy to go to this Shrine since it is outside the JR Inari Station. I think, if I am not mistaken, we were able to use our JR Pass since it belong to JR line.


Fushimi Inari Shrine is located just outside JR Inari Station, the second station from Kyoto Station along the JR Nara Line. It is only five minutes away from Kyoto Station. If you are around the Fushimi Inari Station, you can reach the shrine by walking along the Keihan Main Line.


As you travel through the gates and enter the many small shrines, you will come across hundreds of stone foxes. The fox is considered the messenger of Inari, the god of rice, agriculture and industry, and stern bronze foxes (kitsune) can be seen throughout the shrine. The key often seen in the fox’s mouths are for the rice granaries. Inari foxes are generally considered helpful, but the Japanese traditionally see the fox as a sacred figure capable of bewitching humans.




Reminders on Fushimi Inari Shrine Opening Hours, Address and Fee


It is always open. No entrance fee. It's free.

Hours for prayers: 7:00-6:30 / 8:30-4:30
Address:
68 Yabunouchi-cho, Fukakusa Fushimi-ku, Kyoto
Tel.:075-641-7331
Fax: 075-642-2153

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